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 John Bard  (1815 - 1856)

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Lived/Active: New York      Known for: ship painting-collaboration with his brother James Bard

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AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
The Moses Taylor, Paddle Steamer,
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in New York City, he and his brother James Bard together painted more than 350 marine portraits, steamships and sailboats in the New York Harbor and on the Hudson River. Likely James did the outline sketches, and John filled in the color and backgrounds. However, James quit working with John after 1849, and John died seven years later.

Although the paintings they did together are rather primitive in their flat colors and perspective, the work is important to marine historians because of the accuracy and detail of the depictions. Usually the ships are placed against a generic background, and if figures are present, they are stiff and primarily serve the purpose of showing the size of the ship.

Biography from The Caldwell Gallery - I:
John Bard, born in 1815 in NYC, was a marine artist whose brief career flourished through a partnership with his twin brother. From 1831-1850 Bard helped complete many ship portraits. It is believed that his brother James would create an outline of the objects in composition and that John would then provide the color fill and background. "The Side-wheeler, Oliver M. Petit" (1857) is a classic example of the Bard brother's style. The careful drawing becomes slightly primitive through flatness and the use of very bright colors.

After leaving the partnership in 1850, John Bard disappeared for five years. It is speculated that he went to California for the gold rush. Records show that he was temporarily admitted to the Alms House on New York City's Blackwell Island. He was readmitted a year later when he contracted strep throat. Consequently, Bard was sent to the Hospital for Incurables where he died in 1856. The cause for the split between brothers is still unknown.



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